When The Skies Cry: Heartwarming Dog Fiction (Books for Dog Lovers Book 2) by Steve N Lee –#BookReview – Pet Dogs

Happy Release Day!

Are you ready to get into the mind and reasoning of a dog?

Book Blurb:

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeSometimes, the one you’re saving is really saving you.

Harley loses everything when his master dies — his home, his best friend, his reason for living. Day after day, he trudges the streets, trembling from the biting cold, whimpering from the gnawing hunger.

Across town, Rachel has an alimony hearing looming and a make-or-break deadline hurtling toward her, yet they aren’t her biggest worries — her autistic son has withdrawn so far into his own private world, he barely acknowledges she even exists.

Luckily, the magic of life is in the surprises no one ever sees coming…

My Review:

When The Skies Cry is the second in the Dog Lovers book series and you’ll be glad to know the author does not resort to anthropomorphics in his descriptions of Harley. No, the POV from Harley is probably just what the canine might actually be thinking, rather than the emotions and thoughts we attribute to them.

When the Skies Cry by Steve N LeeThis story revolves around Rachel and her son Wesley who is on the extreme side of the autism spectrum. Too much for the father, Rachel is struggling with Wes on her own, including home schooling. It isn’t until Harley comes into their lives, however, that there is a dramatic change in Wes—for the good. And any change in Wes is an improvement.

Rachel is blessed with having Izzy as a friend/tenant who is immediately drawn to Harley as well but first the fear is trying to have a dog and then the fear is losing him. Meanwhile, Harley appears to have found his “new purpose.” He likes to work after all and he is very, very smart and very well trained for his former owner’s service needs.

The storyline marks Wes’s remarkable improvements at the same time tragedy strikes. I had to chuckle at one point when a brief reference to Kai from Book 1 surfaces in the narrative. There is the confusion by Harley to the changes in the household and how he puzzles through the appropriate response to solve the problem as he has interpreted it.

I was a bit surprised by the twist in the conclusion—not wholly on board with the way it was wrapped up—but in the meantime an immersive story with engaging characters. A sweet novel once again championing the bond between man (or woman) and the canine species who has been learning how to perceive and handle their humans for a long time now. They learned how to communicate. Now it’s up to us to figure out what they are saying. I really enjoyed As the Stars Fall (Book 1) and was happy to add to my “Books for Dog Lovers” list. You will too. Recommended and available now at your favorite retailer. 

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Pet Dogs, British Contemporary Literature, British & Irish Literary Fiction
Publisher: Blue Zoo
ASIN: B08MBF9NHM
Print Length: 474 pages
Publication Date: October 22, 2021 (Today!)
Source: Direct author connection 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

Steve N Lee - authorThe Author: Steve N Lee has three passions: anti-heroes, animals, and travel. To date, he’s visited 60 countries and has adopted five homeless cats, but he’s yet to prowl the streets in the dead of night to beat up bad guys (though he still daydreams about doing so, but who doesn’t?).

In pursuit of adventure, he’s cage-dived with great white sharks, sparred with a monk at a Shaolin temple, and explored exotic locales such as Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and the Great Wall of China.

Fortunately, his passions fuel his fiction. He loves to pepper his action-packed thrillers with the exotic places he’s explored and the unusual encounters he’s experienced, while his dog stories glow with the love and companionship that will warm the heart of any animal lover.

He lives in the North of England with his partner, Ania, the great-granddaughter of the 1924 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and two stray black cats who visited their garden one day and liked it so much, they moved into the house. Luckily, they graciously allowed Steve and Ania to carry on living there, even allowing Steve to continue paying the mortgage to give him a sense of purpose. If you don’t read Steve’s books, the cats will not be happy — they like their house so need Steve to keep paying for it!

http://stevenleebooks.com/

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy Your Weekend!

The Harp and the Rose: The Queenstown Series Book 3 by –#BookReview – #historicalfiction

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars
#1 Best Seller Historical British Fiction

Book Blurb:

Queenstown, County Cork. 1920

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerFor twenty-year-old Harp Devereaux, life should be idyllic. At university, she feels for the first time in her life that she belongs, her mother Rose is running the Cliff House as a successful business, and her childhood sweetheart JohnJoe is by her side, but the storm clouds of war grow ever darker.For eight hundred years Ireland has made numerous bids for her freedom but now, at last, liberation from British rule is tantalisingly close, if the men and women of the revolution can just hold on.
Harp, her family, and her friends find themselves in the thick of the fight, but the Crown Forces are not the only enemy. A sinister force from the past is lurking and will stop at nothing to exact his revenge.

My Review:

The third in the Queenstown series and it is a hard-hitting, high impact narrative that relates Ireland’s long struggle for freedom from the British in an entertaining novel that tells the continuing story of Harp Devereaux.

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerHarp and her mother Rose have turned the Cliff House mansion where her mother worked into a thriving B&B. Now at twenty, she has a special beau in JJ, along with characters from the previous entries to the series. She is currently home from university and working undercover with the Devlin sisters in aid of the freedom movement.

Harp has recently met Marianne, a young bride given to British General Beckett most recently from Shimla, India to help stamp out the IRA organization currently causing havoc across Ireland. Marianne was given to the much older Beckett by her family and she feels lost and alone and quickly forms a friendship with Harp.

Amazing how the author develops characters sure to mirror those of the time, fleshing them out, making them real, sympathetic. The stories are heart-felt, she is passionate about her Irish history and the love of her home in Cork shines through the prose. The novel is compelling, strongly engaging and hard to put down as the pace never waivers.

The climax developed into a most satisfying conclusion and certainly as this reader hoped, but there is an epilogue that sets up an unsettling scenario with Henry’s brother, Ralph, that is obviously to be a story for another time. ARGH! Ralph is a miserable person, a despot! This can’t be good!

I have read many books written by this prolific author, some as standalones, as well as other series: Robinswood, The Tour, and the Conor O’Shea series. The Star and the ShamrockReturn to RobinswoodTrials and Tribulations, and The Homecoming of Bubbles O’Leary. The latter was particularly poignant. Her characters are always engaging and relatable, the stories entertaining, and most unique in their plots and pacing.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: British & Irish Literary Fiction, Historical British Fiction, Historical Irish Fiction
ASIN: B096M8FXLV
Print Length: 217 pages
Publication Date: Just released August 23, 2021
Source: Author
Title Link: The Harp and the Rose [Amazon]

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author:  JEAN GRAINGER

USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

[Truncated]…

My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

The Sea Bandits (Bold Women of the 17th Century Series Book 2) by Amanda Hughes–#BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating:  Five Stars 5 stars

“Boo hags are creatures that feed off the breath of human beings.” 

Book Blurb:

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesFor readers who like history with a bit of a love story.

The West Indies 1680-it is a world of violence, greed, and anarchy. Swept into this whirlwind of treachery are two disparate characters: Mercedes Zamora, a former Spanish aristocrat, and Abraxas Kaphiri, a ruthless Egyptian pirate. She is clever and seductive. He is dangerous and powerful. Together they hatch a plan to terrorize the high seas seeking vengeance and plunder. Their enemies call them The Sea Bandits, and they reign supreme as the most hated and feared corsairs in the West Indies and the Barbary Coast. But everything changes when they clash with a malicious nobleman who knows too much. His relentless pursuit threatens to destroy not only their operation but everything they love.
Join Amanda Hughes as she sweeps you back to the days when buccaneers and adventurers ruled the waves, and larger-than-life legends were born.

My Review:

There is a reason Amanda Hughes is one of my favorite authors, she consistently delivers a delicious tale laced with adventure, well-researched tidbits, and a touch of romance.

This novel begins in the year 1677 in Cusco, Peru and develops protagonist Mercedes Zamora as the spoiled offspring of landed aristocrats. She is expected to marry well and a wedding is arranged between she and Felipe Ortiz y Gasset. Felipe, however, is a spoiled monied son with few boundaries and quickly loses his ardour when she becomes pregnant.

The wedding dowry arrangement between families chill considerably when badly managed finances fail resulting in the loss of their home. Felipe (and his family) determines he will move the family to San Juan Bautista and Mercedes finds herself in a new land, new home, no husband, and no way to provide for herself and her twin boys.

The Sea Bandits by Amanda HughesMercedes hasn’t been totally out of the business loop, however. She is smart and has gained sufficient insight to proceed into a shipping business. She has a small, efficient, and loyal team. Then she meets Abraxas Kaphiri, widely known as a Egyptian pirate. Abraxas, much like Jack Sparrow, isn’t all bad, however. In fact, hmm, he actually has some admirable qualities (and he’s easy on the eyes).

I loved the dance between Mercedes and Abraxas that eventually leads to banding together against a common enemy.

The storyline never falters or slows in this well-paced and plotted novel. It’s swash-buckling adventure coupled with Barbary Coast tales of treasures, cargo, rum, and the daily struggle of life in the late 1690’s.

This is Book 2 of the 17th Century series. I also read Book 1, The Firefly Witch. No problem where you come in to each series, whether 17th, 18th, 19th, or 20th Centuries, each is a standalone and can be read in any order. I’ve read at least two books in each century, including the most recent, Vagabond Wind, The House of Five Fortunes, Beneath a Blazing Sky, and The Image Seeker.  If you like strong, trail-blazing womens stories, you’ll greatly enjoy these gripping novels, all different and unique. These are all highly recommended. The Sea Bandits just released and is available now. (Loved it.)

His Review:

The cross-breeding between the Inca and Spanish resulted in beautiful copper skinned offspring. Mercedes Zamora y Huaman de Ortiz was just such a woman. Marriages were often arranged in the 1600’s and the participants often had very little choice in the matter. Class hierarchies were common and inter-marriages between the social stratus were uncommon.

At fourteen, Mercedes is married to Felipe, an eighteen-year-old. The early months were amorous until pregnancy occurred. Then Felipe left for greener pastures and Mercedes was to raise their twin boys.  Her position as an aristocrat in Cusco, Peru left few opportunities for the young mother. Once pregnant her husband had no interest in staying around or visiting her bed. (It was against Catholic doctrine to have sex while pregnant.)

Senora Mercedes Ortiz had to avoid relations with Felipe after the birth of their children. He was also a very poor businessman and had lost a large portion of their lands. As a result, he was moving the family to San Juan Bautista. Mercedes was leaving her home and everything she knew and suddenly Felipe Ortiz was nowhere to be found.

Mercedes is tasked with managing the household and plantation and it becomes a full-time job. She begins running a shipping warehouse and import-export business but additional lands are taken away by a conniving relative.

Mercedes starts Zamora Enterprises and begins a new stage in her life. She sends her sons to Spain for a more formal education and meets Abraxas Kaphiri. This reputed pirate leads her life in a whole new direction.

Amanda Hughes has created a delightful tale of intrigue and danger in a love story between a pirate and a “she-merchant”. You will find it hard to put down. 5 stars – CE Williams

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are our honest thoughts.

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Caribbean and Latin American Fiction, Sea Stories, US Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lillis and Jaymes
ASIN: B09BKHCNLF
Print Length: 253 pages
Publication Date: Just Released! August 19, 2021
Source: Author contact 
Title Link: The Sea Bandits

Amanda Hughes - authorThe Author: Bestselling and award-winning author, Amanda Hughes is a “Walter Mitty”, spending more time in heroic daydreams than the real world. At last, she found an outlet writing adventures about bold women through the centuries. Well known for her genre-busting books, she is the winner of the Gems National Medal for Writing, featured in USA Today and is nominated for the 2017 Minnesota Book Award. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, and when she isn’t off tilting windmills, she lives and writes in Minnesota. Don’t miss these page-turning novels for readers who like historical fiction with a just bit of a love story. All of her books are stand-alone and can be read in any order.

The Bold Women of the 17th Century: The Firefly Witch Book 1

The Bold Women Series of the 18th Century: Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry Book 1 The Pride of the King Book 2 The Sword of the Banshee Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 19th Century: The Grand Masquerade Book 1 Vagabond Wind Book 2 The House of Five Fortunes Book 3

The Bold Women Series of the 20th Century: The Looking Glass Goddess Book 1

Interested in her new books or a free novelette? Go to http://www.amandahughesauthor.com

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams The CE and I

The Forever Home by Sue Watson – #BookReview – #psychologicalfiction

Happy Release Day! 

Book Blurb:

The Forever Home - Sue WatsonCarly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…

Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.

Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.

My Review:

Mark chose the eve of their 25th wedding anniversary to announce he was seeing someone else—not that he had a choice. It was tell Carly or her best friend would. Okay, not a huge surprise, he’d been a womanizing the entire length of their marriage. A sham, really, because the brand they’d created together by redesigning and renovating houses would not allow for other than being a perfect family. Beautiful home, two gorgeous children, and finally enough money to live comfortably.

A lie.

Carly Anderson had tolerated…everything. They had secrets. Behind those closed doors, there were things not to be shared with the public. And Mark was crazy occupied with his public persona. This, too, would be spun. The public would get a version. Maybe not the truth, but a version.

A slow burn.

The Forever Home by Sue WatsonI had a problem getting into the family drama. The divorce back and forth turning ugly. Carly would keep the house. Her house. She’d inherited the one of a kind Cornish cliffside home from her mother, but his new girlfriend wanted it—had wanted it all her life. Carly had been the power behind the face that Mark put on for his adoring public. Now it was quietly being undermined. Would she lose the house to Mark and his pregnant girlfriend?

“…an interview in the Daily Mail with Gemma Hough, the lead groupie and yummy mummy who virtually accosted me at the hair salon.”

Lots of tell not show; stories from Carly regarding the characters surrounding she and the family, the building of the brand, the celebrity. Slow, with repetition of salient plot points. Mark is beyond narcissistic but I eventually got tired of Carly as well. Okay, okay. She’d worked just as hard. It was her house. She’d put up with him all those years. He held her secret, although threatening her with revealing it was getting old, and the secret easy to guess. She didn’t love him; hadn’t for a long time.

I’d have been happy with much of the repetition deleted, the chapters instead making progress toward the end reveal (which, btw, was also guessed well ahead of the conclusion), and Carly showing a little more of the gumption that it took to get both of them to the status. I needed more empathy in at least one of the characters and didn’t feel it for Carly.

The author has a large fan base and dedicated followers. While this may not have been my cup of tea, no doubt her fans will appreciate her new release. FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Rating: Three stars three stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture

  • ASIN : B08YDCN27S

Print Length: 391 pages
Publication Date: June 4, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

 Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo 

Sue Watson - authorThe Author: Sue Watson was a TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

Now a USA Today bestselling author, Sue has written eighteen novels, many have been translated into several languages. Sue is now exploring the darker side of life with her thrillers OUR LITTLE LIES, THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, THE EMPTY NEST, THE SISTER-IN-LAW, FIRST DATE and her latest, THE FOREVER HOME.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her family in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent writing – okay, procrastinating. Her hobby is eating cake, while watching diet and exercise programmes from the sofa, a skill she’s perfected after many years of practice.

more info visit Sue’s website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

©2021 V Williams

The Cuts That Cure by Arthur Herbert – #BookReview – #medicalfiction

#1 New Release – in Western Horror Fiction

 Book Blurb:

From its attention-grabbing first sentence, The Cuts that Cure is a truly extraordinary novel as Arthur Herbert- a surgeon himself- shows why he is one of the most exciting new voices in the suspense genre.

The Cuts That Cure by Arthur HerbertAlex Brantley is a surgeon whose desperation to start a new life outside of medicine leads him to settle in a sleepy Texas town close to the Mexican border, a town that has a dark side. Its secrets and his own past catch up with him as traits he thought he’d buried in the deserts on the frontiers of the border rise up again to haunt him.

To the citizens of Three Rivers, Henry Wallis appears to be a normal Texas teenager: a lean, quiet kid from a good family whose life seems to center around running cross-country, his first girlfriend, and Friday night football. That Henry is a cultivated illusion, however, a disguise he wears to conceal his demons. Both meticulous and brutally cruel, he manages to hide his sadistic indulgences from the world, but with that success, his impulses grow stronger until one day when a vagrant is found murdered.

When Alex and Henry’s paths cross, it starts a domino effect which leads to mangled lives and chilling choices made in the shadows along la frontera, where everything is negotiable.

His Review:

Most of us wish the best for our families. The Brantley family was no exception and when their son Alex graduated from medical school they were overjoyed. Being a doctor, especially a surgeon in the United States, usually means a prosperous life for the graduate. The problem is that the work is not always glamorous.

The Cuts That Cure by Arthur HerbertAlex Brantley has discovered that his chosen profession is a continuous grind. Working in the emergency room of a major metropolitan hospital means working with anyone who comes in. Gunshot wounds and children with broken bones who apparently “are accident prone,” begin to take a heavy toll on ones’ mental stability. Saving the victim is often met with disdain because you could have done better.

The tipping point comes when a particularly battered boy comes into the emergency room and Dr. Brantley is faced with sewing him up. X-rays show old healed fractures and broken bones. The parents explain that he is accident prone and they do everything to protect their boy. One particular bruise is of a steel toed cowboy boot at the point of impact causing the injury. Alex is furious. Vandalizing the fathers’ car gets him arrested and his license is suspended.

He has had all he can take as a surgeon. He applies for a job as a science teacher in a small Texas town. They are happy to have him as the new teacher but his duties will also include assisting with the cross-country track team. Far away from the rigors of twelve-hour surgery shifts Alex starts his new life. His best runner is a young man named Harvey Wallis. Harvey is a loner but an excellent runner.

Sociopaths take many forms and sometimes start at a very young age. Harvey’s parents find him with a young rabbit over a campfire. He is enjoying watching the poor animals’ struggles as it tries to flee the terrible heat. Harvey is required to get help from a psychiatrist but there is little progress made. Harvey has no moral compass and simply revels in watching others in pain.

Medical school is very expensive and Alex has been left with a $350,000 student loan debt. As a teacher he will never be able to service the debt. How can he get by with the debt and low salary? One of the towns’ successful businessmen decides to help Alex and takes him under his wing. The source of the cash flow enjoyed by this businessman is remarkable.

This well written tale is a roadmap for life’s trials and obstacles. Enjoy the narrative and experience the twists. 5 stars – CE Williams 

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and these are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars 

Book Details:

Genre: Western Horror Fiction, US Drama and Plays, Medical Fiction
Publisher: White Bird Publications, LLC
ASIN: B08XYR3TQG
Print Length: 298 pages
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Source: Author
Title Link: The Cuts That Cure [Amazon] 
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Arthus Herbert - authorThe Author: Arthur Herbert was born and raised in small town Texas. He worked on offshore oil rigs, as a bartender, a landscaper at a trailer park, and as a social worker before going to medical school. He chose to do a residency in general surgery, followed by a fellowship in critical care and trauma surgery. For the last seventeen years, he’s worked as a trauma and burn surgeon, operating on all ages of injured patients. He continues to run a thriving practice.

His debut novel, The Cuts that Cure, launched on May 11, 2021 through White Bird Publishing in Austin Texas. He’s begun work on his second novel.

Arthur currently lives in New Orleans, with his wife Amy and their dogs.

Arthur loves hearing from readers, so don’t hesitate to email him at arthur@arthurherbertwriter.com.

©2021 V Williams

Hell’s Half Acre (Coffin Cove Mysteries Book 2) by Jackie Elliott – #BookReview – #noircrime – #tuesdaybookblog

Happy Release Day! 

Book Blurb:

AN ADDICTIVE MUST-READ WHODUNNIT FROM THE NEWEST TALENT IN CRIME FICTION

One betrayal.
Two suspects.
Three murders.

Hell's Half Acre by Jackie ElliottAndrea “Andi” Silvers thought moving to the tiny fishing village of Coffin Cove, on the Vancouver coast, would be a fresh start. But she got shot during a murder investigation.

Her boss at the Coffin Cove Gazette keeps telling her to take it easy. But she’s back on the booze and won’t get help. Instead, she’s going to do what she does best and follow her next lead.

Now Ricky, the former mayor’s son, has disappeared. The police don’t seem to care. Ricky runs the town’s new cannabis shop.

Then two dead bodies are discovered in an abandoned chapel.

Has Ricky finally turned up?

Discover a web of murder and mystery laced with humour and a thread of romance in this fast-paced whodunnit set on the gorgeous coast of Western Canada.

My Review:

I love a good mystery with a particularly atmospheric setting, such as fictional Coffin Cove on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Oh, the memories it brought back! Fond memories of our ride into Canada one year to Glacier National Park of Canada where we caught Canadian Hwy 1 west through Revelstoke and Kamloops eventually to catch the ferry to Nanaimo. Gorgeous, gorgeous country. Well, anyway, Nanaimo is mentioned in this novel as being “an hour” away from the fictitious Coffin Cove. So, yes, I was quickly pulled into the narrative.

Hell's Half Acre by Jackie ElliottProtagonist Andrea “Andi” Silvers works as a journalist and assistant editor at the Coffin Cove Gazette. She is recovering from a gunshot wound received in the process of her last big story and is now looking into the cold case of the disappearance of the son of the former mayor. The old mayor was not particularly liked but definitely had in place a network of good old boys. Ricky’s body is found on private property in the process of finding interesting locations for a museum historical walk, one of the new mayor’s ideas for revitalization. Jade Thompson has promised a new day for the town.

In the plans to regenerate the town, they will repair, rebuild, and modernize, but Coffin Cove has a dark past that includes biker gangs, drugs, and murder. There are stories, unfortunate and sad, that haunt the village, unsolved, that continue to linger like a pall over the residents. Ricky’s body isn’t the first to be found but it does seem to have set off a spate of retributions.

Andi is dealing with her explicable attraction to RCMP Inspector Andrew Vega while she also has another interest, his more so than hers. I liked the characters of her editor, Jim Peters new recruit PC Matt Beaufort, and Clara Bell, the retired museum curator living off the grid. The storyline gets complex, expands on characters, and introduces clues and twists that continues to leave the reader in confusion, although there is a gradual dawning and suspicion.

I enjoyed the historical aspects of the location, the descriptions of the area, and the immersive characters and I can see this series doing well. The conclusion settles most of the dust, exposes the perp (correctly guessed), and suggests possible scenarios for the next installment although this as Book 2 can be read as a standalone.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Noir Crime, Serial Killers, Murder
Publisher: Joffe Books

  • ASIN : B093X49XFF

Print Length: 247 pages
Publication Date: Happy Publication Day- May 11, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 
Title Link(s): Hell’s Half Acre [Amazon]

Jackie Elliott - authorThe Author: Jackie [Elliott] is originally from the UK, but she settled on Vancouver Island, Canada in 2004. She’s married to Bob, a commercial fisherman and accomplished storyteller – like most fishermen!

It was a culture shock to swap a fast-paced city life for Island living. It wasn’t at all how Jackie had expected. She was intrigued by the pioneer spirit of their small communities, and the fight to hang on to traditional ways of living. In her experience, small towns ‘with a heart’ have claws and teeth as well and that makes the perfect back drop for a good murder!

Jackie has written several non-fiction books about her sober journey and a cook book with her husband, featuring stories about from his fishing days.

When Jackie’s not writing, she is gardening, reading, or poking around local museums, looking for inspiration.

©2021 V Williams

The French Paradox (A Wine Country mystery Book 11) by Ellen Crosby – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

“According to Napoleon, in victory you deserve champagne, in defeat you need it.”

 Book Blurb:

Lucie Montgomery’s discovery of her grandfather’s Parisian romance unlocks a series of shocking secrets in the gripping new Wine Country mystery.

In 1949, during her junior year abroad in Paris, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis The French Paradox by Ellen Crosbybought several inexpensive paintings of Marie-Antoinette by a little-known 18th century female artist. She also had a romantic relationship with Virginia vineyard owner Lucie Montgomery’s French grandfather – until recently, a well-kept secret.

Seventy years later, Cricket Delacroix, Lucie’s neighbor and Jackie’s schoolfriend, is donating the now priceless paintings to a Washington, DC museum. And Lucie’s grandfather is flying to Virginia for Cricket’s 90th birthday party, hosted by her daughter Harriet. A washed-up journalist, Harriet is rewriting a manuscript Jackie left behind about Marie-Antoinette and her portraitist. She’s also adding tell-all details about Jackie, sure to make the book a bestseller.

Then on the eve of the party a world-famous landscape designer who also knew Jackie is found dead in Lucie’s vineyard. Did someone make good on the death threats he’d received because of his controversial book on climate change? Or was his murder tied to Jackie, the paintings, and Lucie’s beloved grandfather?

My Review:

I always enjoy these entries to the wine country mysteries, as I’m assured of learning new facts about viticulture and the historical areas of Virginia. In this episode, protagonist Lucie Montgomery (owner with her family of the Montgomery Estate Vineyard) discovers a DB (dead body) in her fields—the guy she was supposed to have met to consult about problems with her sickly grapes.

The French Paradox by Ellen CrosbyHer winemaker-fiancé Quinn is quick to provide support, but it’s just one of several threads and I’m still trying to decide whether or not I like the Jackie Kennedy inclusion. She is also anticipating the arrival of her 93 year old French grandfather for a birthday celebration with a local friend. There are enlightening discussions on the impact of climate change to certain grapes and a comparison of GMOs with hybrids. Additionally, a major sub-plot involves the daughter of her birthday friend and the big reveal regarding her book and the early women art masters tied into the mystery of Jackie O.

The well-plotted narrative delves deeply into the family drama anticipation of a mini-family reunion with her beloved grandfather and her artistic sister’s commission for the art exhibition that will feature renown paintings tied to the books’ announcement.

I really loved The Angel’s Share and Harvest of Secrets but the pacing of this series entry was a bit slow for me and my attention waned. I suppose in the end, part of my enthusiasm this time was the Jackie thread. Not a lot of elements of a cozy, listed as a traditional detective mystery—but didn’t feel that vibe either. Still, these can all be considered standalone and I’ll be looking forward to the next one.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Traditional Detective Mysteries, Amateur Sleuth Mysteries
Publisher: Severn House Publishers

  • ASIN : B08QNF14TD

Print Length: 243 pages
Publication Date: Happy Release Day! April 6, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo

Ellen Crosby - authorThe Author: Ellen Crosby is the author of the Virginia wine country mysteries, two mysteries featuring international photojournalist Sophie Medina and MOSCOW NIGHTS, a standalone. THE FRENCH PARADOX, the 11th book in the wine country series will be out 1/29/21 in the UK, 4/6/21 in the US and 3/1/21 as an ebook. Before writing fiction, Crosby–who has lived in England, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the former Soviet Union–worked as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post, an economist at the US Senate, and Moscow reporter for ABC Radio News. Visit her website at http://www.ellencrosby.com and follow her (very) occasionally on Facebook at EllenCrosbyBooks, sometimes on Twitter at @ellencrosby–but mostly on Instagram at ellencrosbyauthor. She also writes an erratic (but interesting) newsletter.

©V Williams